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"Crowd safety the No.1 issue" say Robbie Williams and Alan Hansen
"Crowd safety – the No.1 issue" say Robbie Williams and Alan Hansen
The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a major revision of its guidance on crowd safety management. The guidance is aimed at event organisers and others with responsibility for managing crowds including sporting events, pop concerts and festivals. Two people who know about the importance of good crowd safety management; top UK performer Robbie Williams and former Liverpool captain and BBC-TV' s Match of the Day presenter Alan Hansen, have both endorsed the new guide. "The many thousands attending sports events each week want to feel confident about their safety. I know from experience that complacency is dangerous and encourage organisers to read HSE's new crowd safety guidance. Ensure your defences aren't taken by surprise – safety is key", said Alan Hansen on the release of HSE's new crowd safety book. Robbie Williams said, "Crowd safety is the No. 1 issue for all concerts. Be there, be safe!"
The HSE has conducted its own research on the factors which influence crowd behaviour and the procedures event organisers should put into place to minimise the risk to members of the public. The guidance also draws on the lessons learned so far from the tragedy at this summer's Roskilde pop festival in Denmark.
HSE's director general, Timothy Walker said, "We have seen the tragic events that can happen when crowds gather – nine fans lost their lives earlier this year at the pop festival in Roskilde, Denmark. Organisers should be aware that misjudging the popularity of a performer or an event, failing to manage the mass movement and dynamics of a crowd, ignoring aggressive behaviour, insufficient crowd monitoring or failing to take immediate action when things start going wrong during an event, can all have disastrous consequences. Communication between those responsible for crowd management, and with the crowd itself, is often a crucial factor in preventing hazardous crowd behaviour. The guidance deals with these issues and will also be relevant to smaller events or venues". Crowds are unavoidable occurrences of everyday life; problems in their safe management are not.
The guidance covers many aspects of ensuring crowd safety – planning, assessing risks, putting precautions in place, emergency planning and procedures, communication, monitoring crowds, and review. It aims to provide practical guidance to help those organising events to manage crowd safety in a systematic way. It does not specify a particular way of achieving crowd safety, but sets out a general approach. Although primarily aimed at organisers who may have overall responsibility for the event, the guide will be of use to others involved in the event such as venue staff and contractors.
Copies of Managing Crowds Safely, ISBN 0-7176-1834-X price £17.50 can be ordered online at http://www.hsebooks.co.uk or is available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2WA, UK.
Publications are also available from all good bookshops. Public enquiries: call HSE's InfoLine. Tel: 08701 545500; or write to: HSE Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield, S3 7HQ, UK.
UK HSE press release, No. 229-00, 29 November 2000